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Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive
     

Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive

4.8 37
by Laura Hillenbrand
 

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In this captivating and lavishly illustrated young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a former Olympian's courage, cunning, and fortitude following his plane crash in enemy territory. This adaptation of Unbroken introduces a new generation to one of history's most thrilling

Overview

In this captivating and lavishly illustrated young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a former Olympian's courage, cunning, and fortitude following his plane crash in enemy territory. This adaptation of Unbroken introduces a new generation to one of history's most thrilling survival epics. 
 
On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary sagas of the Second World War.
 
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. As a boy, he had been a clever delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and stealing. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a supreme talent that carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war came, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
 
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a sinking raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would respond to desperation with ingenuity, suffering with hope and humor, brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would hang on the fraying wire of his will.
 
Featuring more than one hundred photographs plus an exclusive interview with Zamperini, this breathtaking odyssey—also captured on film by director Angelina Jolie—is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the ability to endure against the unlikeliest of odds.

Praise for Unbroken

"This adaptation of Hillenbrand's adult bestseller is highly dramatic and exciting, as well as painful to read as it lays bare man's hellish inhumanity to man."—Booklist, STARRED

"This captivating book emphasizes the importance of determination, the will to survive against impossible odds, and support from family and friends. A strong, well-written work."—SLJ

"This fine adaptation ably brings an inspiring tale to young readers."—Kirkus

Editorial Reviews

VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Donna L. Phillips
A teller of tall tales could not improve the true story of Louis Zamperini. His odyssey takes him from quick-footed neighborhood thief in the Roaring Twenties to Olympic athlete in 1936, to forty-seven days aboard a life raft, to the brutality of more than two years as a Japanese prisoner of war (POW) during World War II. After the war, he marries, but it is not a “Greatest Generation” success story, at least not in the beginning. Suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder and finding solace in alcohol, he winds up at a Billy Graham revival, where an equally grueling process of redemption begins. Hillenbrand’s young adult version of her award-winning adult title has shed nearly eighty pages but remains true to Louie’s story and its major subplots. She has judiciously removed some of the starkest horrors and sexual brutality of the Japanese POW camps, though enough remains for readers to glimpse the misery. With its breakneck pace and lean style, some adults may actually find this version more engaging. The teen revision arrives at an auspicious time. Zamperini died in July at age 97, and his inspiring story will be the subject of a film scheduled for release in December 2014. Get this one for teens who love war stories or great nonfiction. Get two copies—pass the second along to adult readers interested in the details of Louie’s story. Discussion materials with film tie-ins will be available for both texts. It is a strong contender for community reading initiatives across age groups. Reviewer: Donna L. Phillips; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-08-20
In response to requests from teachers and school librarians, Hillenbrand offers a young-readers' edition of her best-selling World War II tale of survival. Louis Zamperini grew up in California and was headed toward juvenile delinquency. He smoked at 5, drank at 8, and went on to stealing and pranking, until older brother Pete got Louis into something more productive: running. Louis eventually became a world-class runner, ultimately competing at the 1936 Olympics. With World War II looming, Louis joined the Army Air Corps, and it was with the downing of his B-24 bomber that his harrowing journey began. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean in a raft, attacked by sharks, brutalized as a POW in Japanese slave-labor camps, Louis' is a tale of survival against all odds. This solid adaptation is half the length of the original, more visual (with more, and sometimes larger, photographs), less descriptive and swifter paced, and it avoids such adult themes as the sexual sadism of evil Cpl. Watanabe, the man so intent on destroying Louis in the POW camp outside Tokyo. A fascinating appended interview with Louis Zamperini explores issues of survival and heroism. This fine adaptation ably brings an inspiring tale to younger readers. (notes, index [not seen]) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
“This adaptation of Hillenbrand’s adult best-seller is highly dramatic and exciting, as well as painful to read as it lays bare man’s hellish inhumanity to man.”—Booklist, STARRED

"This captivating book emphasizes the importance of determination, the will to survive against impossible odds, and support from family and friends. A strong, well-written work."—SLJ

"This fine adaptation ably brings an inspiring tale to young readers."—Kirkus

"A humdinger of a page-turner: a noble story about the courage of America's Greatest Generation, personified."—The Horn Book Review
 

School Library Journal
09/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Adapted from the best-selling adult book of the same name, this riveting account tells the story of Louis Zamperini, a thief turned track star, Olympian, airman, castaway, and prisoner of war. Born to Italian immigrants in 1917, Zamperini was heading down a path of crime (stealing, fighting) until his older brother Pete stepped in, encouraging him to join the track team. It wasn't long before Zamperini was winning every race, eventually going on to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The book details how the 1940 Olympics were canceled due to World War II and describes how Zamperini was drafted into the U.S. Air Force. Writing in a gripping, intense tone, Hillenbrand relates how tragedy struck when Zamperini's plane was shot down and he and two other men spent 47 days in a life boat in the Pacific Ocean, fighting sharks, starvation, and dehydration, before being captured by the Japanese navy as prisoners of war. More than 100 engaging photographs appear throughout. This captivating book emphasizes the importance of determination, the will to survive against impossible odds, and support from family and friends. This adaptation softens some of the harsh details of POW life found in the adult version and has shortened the book by about a third. Though this is a strong, well-written work, the adult version is accessible and engaging; students are better off sticking with the original.—Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings Elementary School, Hoover, AL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385742511
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
11/11/2014
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
12,287
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile:
850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Laura Hillenbrand is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption and Seabiscuit: An American Legend, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, won the Book Sense Nonfiction Book of the Year award and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, landed on more than fifteen best-of-the-year lists, and inspired the film Seabiscuit, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  She served as a consultant on the Universal Pictures feature film based on Unbroken. Hillenbrand’s New Yorker article, “A Sudden Illness,” won the National Magazine Award. Her work has also appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Vanity Fair, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. She and actor Gary Sinise were cofounders of Operation International Children, a charity that provided school supplies to children through American troops. 

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Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book by Hillenbrand. I can't wait to see the movie. I hope the movie stays true to the events as they happened to Louie Zamperini. What a great book.
mpiel More than 1 year ago
Louie Zamperini is a very relate able charter since he trained for running in the Olympics. He is a very strong mentally all that he has endeavored. This book kept me reading all weekend. For me it was a very quick read and enjoyable. At times in the book it was gruesome when Louie or other P.O.W. were being tortured. It's very emotional at times of close death. The imagery in this book is very clear and can be understood with no problem. It doesn't go into depth about the war itself but it's does tell you in parts of the book the stages of the war and what it's like as a P.O.W. The book is much better than the movie version. Unbroken is one of my favorite books and I wish I had read it sooner to the release. This book will make you sad but you have a sense of pride once you finish it. I highly recommend it to any teen or adult. If you like WW2 or want to know more about WW2 then, you will love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story of survival and overcoming extreme hardship that leads to PTSD. Zamperini then finds the strenghth through faith and love to better his crumbling postwar war-hero life and put his traumatic experiences behind him, living an astonishing life. Inspirational and a must read!
jackauslen More than 1 year ago
Awesome The book Unbroken, written by Laura Hillenbrand, is about a man named Louis Zamperini and his amazing story. It begins with describing Louis as a kid and how he joins the track team and flourishes going on to run in college and in the Olympics. He is then drafted by the Air Force to fight in World War II where he is stationed in Hawaii and is a bombardier. On a mission he gets shot down and survives on an inflatable raft and is then captured by the Japanese and put in a POW camp for around two and half years. His camp is eventually liberated and he returns to the US struggling with PTSD but when he finds God, is cured of his sickness and troubles. The major themes in this book have to be perseverance and determination. Louis is tortured in a POW camp for over two and half years, being starved and worked like a slave. He showed that his perseverance and determination are the only reasons that he was able to survive when so few did. He also shows this in his track career where he shows that his determination to train and get better paid off in the big races. What I liked the most about this book is the fact that I can relate to Louis. Even though I’ve never been thrown into a POW camp or survived on an inflatable raft for forty days, my main claim about my personality and who I am is my tenacity. Louis obviously shows tenacity in everything that he does and this helped me become interested in his story and how he survived these terrible and trying situations. What I liked least about this book though is that the author tended to drag on about certain subjects. I think the reason that she did this was to add emphasis to the current situation but eventually, I got bored with all of the examples and explanations that she gave. This book is simply a must read. This book overall is extremely well written and engages the reader tremendously. I’m not usually a big reader, I find it hard to sit down with a book and read it for a couple hours but this book kept me entertained through the entire story. This book inspired me to be more tenacious in what I do but also put some perspective on my troubles. The most I have to deal with is when I get a lot of homework or have a hard practice at track, compared to the pain and suffering that all of these POW’s and their families went through, I’m thankful that I have hardly any worries in my life. I would give this book a five out of five stars easily and look forward to reading other books written by Laura Hillenbrand including Seabiscuit.
412604LB More than 1 year ago
Life is worth living. Long live Louie Zamparini.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book for young adulty
tillieny More than 1 year ago
While I didn't realize that I was reading the Young Adult Adaptation until I was asked to do this review, this book was an incredibly interesting read about an experience during WWII. I had no idea these things happened....horrible. It was a great book about one persons amazing experience and how they persevered.
DramaDT More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book! Being a veteran myself in the 80's I was very interested to read about the military from back then. But what was more interesting, was the details in his life from childhood to his return home from being POW. It gives you a new found respect for the veterans for every war that has gone on! Everyone should read this book! Our soldiers have really given their lives, and even if they return home this book will really explain what they have gone through.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey ash
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I love it. The book changed my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book left me speechless! Thank you Louie!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a lot of books but this was probably the best story I have ever read. I've read a lot of survival stories as well but how many people survive 4 things that would easily break and eventually kill our spirit and end our life? This is a book well written. The author does a great job telling this man's unbelievable true story. I seriously would read this book over and over again. This book is a page turner. I loved it so much that I went and saw the movie. Although the movie was not able to fit everything the book tells, it does give you more to the imagination of what he actually went through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Given to my Grandson as a gift; he was looking forward to receiving it. Interested in hero war stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 6th grade grandson read it and we will see the movie soon. Great book report and a project for him to write about both.